Photo/Illutration The interior of Coco Ichibanya's first restaurant in India, which opened on Aug. 3 (Avinash Agrawal)

Japanese-style curry restaurant chain Coco Ichibanya on Aug. 3 opened its first outlet in India, satisfying the chain operator’s strong appetite to enter the country where curry was born.

The company, which currently operates 186 outlets in 12 countries and areas, has in recent years set a goal to “reimport” curry to India.

Its first outlet there is located in a commercial facility near the capital, New Delhi.

Most of the customers who flocked to the restaurant’s opening were Japanese expats.

But Sutirth, a 38-year-old Indian man, also welcomed the new culinary option.

“Unlike Indian curry, it’s not spicy, and it has a delicate taste,” he said. “I think Indians who want to try a new style of curry will like it.”

The chain chose to maintain the Japanese style of its curry dishes and let customers pick from a combination of toppings and levels of spiciness.

But dishes using pork and beef have been cut from the menu in consideration of customers who can't eat them for religious reasons.

Instead, most of the curry dishes the outlet serves contain vegetables, chicken and mutton. It also offers meatless cutlets as a vegetarian option.